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Sport Fencing Sword

Sport Fencing Sword

Whether you're an aspiring fencer or a professional athlete, knowing more about the different types of sport fencing swords is essential. Learn about the characteristics of each sword and find out which one suits your unique fencing journey!

A Brief Overview of Fencing Swords

Fencing is a thrilling, dynamic sport that combines speed, skill, and precision. There are three primary types of fencing swords used in modern sport fencing: the foil, épée, and sabre. Each weapon has unique traits, and the rules of engagement differ with each sword type. Let's delve into the exciting world of fencing swords and explore their distinct features!


The foil is the lightest and most flexible of the three swords. It weighs approximately 500 grams and has a rectangular-shaped blade with a slight curve. The target area in foil competitions is the torso, making it perfect for beginners who are still learning to control their actions and manage distance. Some key features of the foil are:

  • Flexible and light blade, minimizing the risk of injury
  • A protective button on the tip, called the "tip d'arrêt", which ensures that the force of a hit is minimal
  • Right-of-way rules determining who gets a point in case of simultaneous hits


The épée is heavier and stiffer than the foil, weighing up to 770 grams. The blade is a triangular shape, making it less prone to bending during a match. This weapon offers more freedom to the fencer in terms of target area, as any part of the opponent's body is valid. Some distinctive features of the épée are:

  • A stiffer blade, delivering more force in a hit
  • A push-button on the tip to register hits
  • No right-of-way rules, making it essential for fencers to showcase technical mastery and strategy


The sabre is an aggressive weapon that adds an extra layer of excitement to sport fencing. It's a cutting and thrusting weapon that evolved from the cavalry sword, where the target area is the opponent's body above the waist - save for the hands. Weighing around 500 grams, just like the foil, the sabre features a unique curved guard designed to protect the hand. Notable characteristics of the sabre are:

  • Blade can be used for both cutting and thrusting actions
  • Distinct right-of-way rules, awarding the attacking fencer points for a successful hit
  • Dynamic and fast-paced, making it popular among adrenaline-seeking fencers

Sport Fencing Sword Example:

Choosing the Right Sport Fencing Sword

Susan is an aspiring fencer who has recently fallen in love with the sport. As she explores the different types of swords, she considers her strengths, weaknesses, and personal preferences. Susan has always been quick on her feet and enjoys a fast-paced game, making the sabre an attractive option for her. On the other hand, Susan finds the right-of-way rules complicated and prefers a more straightforward style of play, so she is also interested in épée fencing.

After discussing her options with her coach and trying out both the sabre and épée during practice sessions, Susan decides that the épée is the right weapon for her. She enjoys the added challenge of strategizing and targeting her opponent's body while reducing the complexity of right-of-way rules. This choice allows Susan to focus on developing her unique épée fencing style, making her happy and engaged in the sport!

We hope this detailed guide on sport fencing swords has provided valuable insights into the distinctions between the foil, épée, and sabre. Choosing the right fencing weapon is crucial for both your success and enjoyment of this fantastic sport. Feel free to share this article with fellow fencers, and don't hesitate to explore more informative guides available on Anchorage Fencing Club!


About Steffen Krueger

Meet Steffen Krueger, a name synonymous with fencing excellence. As an ex-champion and elite fencing trainer for over 15 years, Steffen brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and passion to Anchorage Fencing. His illustrious career spans a lifetime in fencing, where he has honed his craft alongside the world's best. A trusted authority in the sport, Steffen's insights stem from his hands-on involvement in competitive fencing and years spent cultivating champions. His love for the sport transcends beyond competition, enriching his content with historical context, strategic nuance, and an understanding of the art that only an expert could offer. With Steffen, you're not just learning from a seasoned professional, you're delving into the sport with a fencing maestro.

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